Up, up and away – 18th Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

You know Carl and Ellie Fredrickson? Or that cute kid Russell? Now, what do they have in common?

Yes – they are all in the movie Up. And being a fan of the movie made me put riding in a hot air balloon or at least seeing one on my bucket list. And last February 23, 2013 I was able to make that dream happen.

there they are (c) Jilliane
there they are

When Sensei invited me, there was no bit of hesitation. And when that day came, straight from work I went to the airport, fetched Sensei and meet Irene-San and Grace-San for the first time. From Pasay, with no sleep at all, we went directly to Pampanga to witness the 18th Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. As we were on our way, I remembered what Charles Muntz said in the movie, “Adventure is out there!” That made me giggle secretly.

Para gliders in action
Para gliders in action
when will I ever try this?
when will I ever try this?

The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is an annual event every February held in Omni Aviation Complex in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga. It started in 1994 spearheaded by the Department of Tourism, aiming to make the Philippines as one of the leading sports aviation in Asia.

truly a weekend of everything that flies
truly a weekend of everything that flies

The Hot Air Balloon was just actually part of what was our main intention in Pampanga but for me it was of equal priority. After looking for a space to park we then headed to the main entrance wait for our tickets then poof, the balloon was just right in front of me and true to what their tagline is, it was really a weekend of everything that flies.

who would've thought that firetrucks could fly?
who would’ve thought that firetrucks could fly?
Mr. Sun - my favorite
Mr. Sun – my favorite

Because of amazement, I wasn’t able to count the number of balloons during that day. (As if it’s mandatory for me to do it.) I have seen one with the firetruck design, there’s one that looks like a bouquet of flowers and there are also regular shape balloons. Unfortunately my favorite balloon, the Sun with the It’s More Fun in the Philippines signature in it wasn’t able to fly that day.

first aerial show that day
first aerial show that day
crowd favorite - Breitling Jet Team
crowd favorite – Breitling Jet Team

My favorite part of all was the Breitling Jet Team exhibition. They put up a good 30 minutes of  jaw-dropping aerial show. And indeed the best way to end their exhibition was with an awesome display of fireworks.

If so happen that you weren’t able to come last February 22-24, 2013, you still have next year and many years to come. Better mark that calendar already.

How to get to Clark, Pampanga: 

Take a bus from Pasay or Cubao Station to Dau, Pampanga. Travel takes around 2 hours. From Dau Terminal, you can board a jeepney (10 php) that can take you directly to the festival venue or alternatively, you can also rent a trike (50-70 php per trike).

Bus fare costs less than 150 php.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. nobs says:

    Keneth. when will be the 19th Hot Air Balloon Fiesta? any details?

    appreciate that.. Thanks

    1. Kenneth says:

      I heard that there will be no Hot Air Balloon Fiesta this year but next year there will be two. By the way, the said event is being celebrated annually every February. And as an alternative, you may want to check 7107 International Music Festival 2014 in Clark.

  2. nobs says:

    Thank you for the reply. Now I wasn’t able to work. hahaha I was reading blog/ just being productive.

    1. Kenneth says:

      Haven’t you been warned? Wanderlust is contagious. Blog hopping is the first sign. Second, you’ll see yourself planning trips to nowhere. Third, you’ll make all your dreams happen no matter what. And lastly, you’ll be doomed – the fire that’s starting in you will just keep on burning and your feet will get itchy all the time.

      Just a piece of advice though, work hard and travel even harder.

      1. nobs says:

        I get that a lot. I hope I can tag with you and your friends to whatever journey may come. Well for me it’s nice to have new set of friends along the road.

        Don’t worry your advice is already in my note.

      2. Kenneth says:

        I basically inform everyone of my plans and trips on my Facebook Page. At times, I also post it on my Twitter. Everyone is pretty much welcome to tag along and I agree with you, it is always good to gain new friends.

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